The Intern – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
Robert De Niro plays 70-year-old widower and retiree Ben Whittaker who has quickly learned that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When an online fashion site puts out an advertisement for “senior interns” he signs up, and is soon paired with the company’s driven founder Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). At first, internship isn’t all it was cracked up to be either as Jules ignores Ben giving him no assignments to assist her with. Jules started the company from the ground up, and you can see that while she loves her staff, she doesn’t like to look like she needs help from anyone. Eventually though, Ben; who was quickly loved by everyone in the office; gets his chance to shine for Jules who at times seems in over her head with the expansion of her company and the demands it is putting on her family life.
Quirky, funny, and touching, I really enjoyed this film. It took itself seriously enough but still left ample room for the laughs. The acting was superb all the way around, from the chemistry between De Niro and Hathaway to the supporting cast made up by the likes of Adam DeVine and Rene Russo. The only thing stopping me from giving this one a full five star rating was the ending. It just didn’t seem to fit and I kind of thought the writers didn’t know how to wrap it up. As the film was wrapping up, I thought they were going to go in an entirely different direction that would have ruined the film for me, so I guess I’m kind of glad it wrapped the way it did? I feared for a few minutes that instead of doing tai chi in the park, they were going to have Ben end up in the hospital or even die. (Small spoiler, so highlight to read)
It was nice to see a movie use actors of different generations and not feel the need to force them together romantically. Surprisingly, The Intern also did not force the older more experienced Ben into a leadership role in Jules’ company. Yes he mentored the younger staff and interns; yes he helped guide Jules down a path, but they handled the character in such a way that he didn’t undermine the strong woman that Jules was written to be. Some of the plots and jokes were fairly obvious, but I didn’t mind it because I found enough variation from the established formulas in other parts of the movie.
Bottom Line: I would almost describe The Intern as a “gentle” movie, and thinking about it now, I really want to watch it again. That is the mark of a good film.